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Helen Crowley, GEM Secretary General to Receive Prestigious Joyner Lecture Award


Dec 14, 2023

Nov 1, 2023



Helen Crowley, Secretary General of the GEM Foundation, is set to be honoured with the prestigious Joyner Lecture Award for her distinguished contributions to earthquake science and engineering communication. The accolade was announced on November 1, 2023 by the awarding institutions, Seismological Society of America (SSA) and Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) to commemorate the remarkable career of William B. Joyner at the U.S. Geological Survey, emphasising his commitment to bridging research findings in earthquake science with practical engineering applications.

Titled "Why seismic hazard modelling has become a risky business," Crowley's lecture will explore the evolving interface between probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA) models and seismic design practices. Tracing the historical shift from seismic zonation maps based on observed macroseismic intensity to the prevalence of PSHA-based approaches in design codes since the landmark paper by Cornell in 1968, her lecture will explore the challenges and debates surrounding the use of these models in earthquake engineering.

Highlighting critiques of PSHA outputs and the recent move toward risk-targeted approaches in seismic design regulations, Crowley will draw on insights from the Italian context, where despite commendable efforts made to evaluate spatial variations of risk in buildings designed to the latest standards, PSHA models have continued to encounter criticism.

The lecture represents an opportunity to examine seismic design's future trajectory and the imperative of incorporating resilience into codes amid advances in earthquake science. Crowley's extensive expertise in earthquake engineering and her commitment to advancing seismic risk understanding align perfectly with the spirit of the Joyner Lecture Award.

Save the Dates

Helen will deliver her lecture on April 10th, 2023 at 4:00 PM, Wednesday at the EERI Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington; and on May 2nd at 6:00 PM, 2023 at the SSA Annual Meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

Please watch out for further updates as the event nears.

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